Ranking the 50 greatest NBA players of all time

The Last Dance, Michael Jordan, LeBron James (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The Last Dance, Michael Jordan, LeBron James (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images /

46. Kevin McHale

  • Resume: 13 seasons, 3 NBA championships, 1-time All-NBA selection, 7-time NBA All-Star, 2 Sixth Man of the Year Awards, 6-time NBA All-Defensive Team, Hall-of-Famer
  • Stats: 17.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.7 BPG, 1.7 APG, .554/—/.798 shooting splits, 20.0 career PER, 113.0 win shares

Meet the owner of quite possibly the goofiest NBA body of all time: Kevin McHale. We could talk about how McHale looked like a Mr. Potato Head gone horribly wrong, with long arms and gigantic feet that didn’t really look right paired with such skinny legs, but this two-time Sixth Man of the Year made it work for him.

In the history of the NBA, nobody’s had more post moves at his disposal. Not even Hakeem.

There’s a reason they called the paint McHale’s “torture chamber” when he caught the ball down low. He could beat you with jump hooks, up-and-unders, turnaround jumpers, step-back jumpers, pump fakes, quick drop steps and every other post move that coaches try to teach their players. He may have looked goofy as all hell, but McHale did all the little things right to help his team win, and he played on the 1985-86 Celtics, one of the greatest teams ever.

With so many post moves in his arsenal, it’s unfortunate that injury problems forced him to retire too soon, right when he was playing the best basketball of his career. He played the entire 1987 NBA Playoffs on a broken foot — not injured, broken — and still posted 21 points and nine rebounds per game on 58 percent shooting.

Remember that famous Magic Johnson baby hook in the 1987 NBA Finals? With a healthy McHale, perhaps he contests that shot a little better. Injury-related what-ifs aside, we’ll remember McHale for his post moves, his status as an all-time Boston great and yes, the priceless look on his face when Jordan went off for 63 points in a playoff game at the Boston Garden.